Tatum and Boston go for the miracle.

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden in Boston on Feb. 29.

Before the series began, second-seeded Boston was considered a top dog over eighth-seeded Miami. The elimination of Milwaukee, which finished first in the league in the regular season, made Boston, a defending Finals team, an even stronger favorite.

However, once the Conference Finals started, it was a different story.

The Celtics found themselves in a hole after dropping the first three games of the series. Head coach Joe Mazzulla’s ability to control the team was being questioned, and there were bad rumors about team chemistry. News of managerial firings and key player transfers, not just within the series, kept popping up.

But Boston didn’t go down in flames. Chasing a reverse sweep that has never happened in NBA history, the Celtics rallied from an 0-3 deficit to take Game 3 and eventually tie the series at 3-3.

Still, the data clearly doesn’t favor them. Out of 150 0-3 starts in the NBA Playoffs, only three have resulted in a 3-3 tie, and none of those three have actually resulted in a reverse sweep. If Boston were to win Game 7, it would be a miracle unlike any other in league history.

One of Boston’s biggest assets is the playoff experience of its core group of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. Tatum, Brown, and Smart, who have only played for one Boston team, are not the oldest players in the game, but they have consistently made the playoffs since their debuts.

The most notable is Tatum, a young ace born in 1998. Tatum hasn’t missed a playoff game since joining Boston in 2017. From a young age, he’s faced some of the best players in the league, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry. He’s had his fair share of defeats along the way, but they’ve only served to fuel his development.

Surprisingly, Tatum and Boston have a lot of fond memories of Game 7 cliffhangers. Tatum has played six Game 7s in Boston, going 5-1 in those games. He won all but Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, when he was upset by LeBron’s Cleveland as a rookie.

Jayson Tatum’s career Game 7 averages (28.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 50.0% 3-point shooting)
Game 7 of the 2018 first round vs. Milwaukee
2018 Conference Finals vs Cleveland L
2020 Second Round Game 7 vs Toronto W
2022 Game 7, Round 2 vs Milwaukee W
2022 Conference Finals vs Miami W
2023 Second Round Game 7 vs Philadelphia W

Recent Game 7 memories are also pretty good. Tatum sealed the win in Game 7 of last year’s Conference Finals against Miami. In the previous series, Game 7 of the second round against Philadelphia, he put on a one-man show, scoring a whopping 51 points and sending Boston fans into a frenzy.

Obviously, with three wins in a row, opponents might have let their guard down a bit. But Tatum tightened his screws like a seasoned playoff player 토토사이트.

“We all know it’s not time to celebrate,” Tatum said. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. I’m proud of the way we played, but the job isn’t done yet. Both teams really want to win. They’re going to compete and give it everything they’ve got. It’s not over yet and we have to get ready for Game 7.”

Aside from the experience of their key players, Boston will have another advantage: a Game 7 at home. With the dramatic Game 6 win, the home fans at TD Garden will be even more fired up for Game 7.

“I’ve never been so excited to go back to Boston in my life,” Tatum said. I can’t wait to see all the fans in Game 7 because I think it’s going to be fun to watch. The series is far from over and there are still some big games to come. But just the fight we’ve shown so far makes me proud to be on this team.”

With so many good memories from Game 7, will Tatum be able to smile with Boston this time around? NBA fans will be tuning in for Game 7 between Boston and Miami.

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